Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

Congress approves Science's shock plan to "lift the chains" in the laboratories | Science

Congress approves Science's shock plan to "lift the chains" in the laboratories | Science



The Congress of Deputies has approved this morning a package of urgent measures to reduce the bureaucratisation that paralyzes Spanish science since 2014, when the Executive of Mariano Rajoy imposed a rigid control of expenditure in laboratories through an auditor of the Treasury in each public research organization. This previous intervention made it difficult and delayed the purchase of the necessary materials in the scientific centers -even in those dedicated to cancer- and will be replaced by the ex post audit of the expenses.

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"This royal decree law is not the solution to all problems, but a substantial first step," said Minister Pedro Duque

The package of measures has been supported by all political groups. The Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE), which groups more than 40,000 Spanish researchers, had warned last week that to reject the royal decree law already approved by the Government on February 9 "could generate a collapse of unpredictable consequences in the Spanish system of science, technology and innovation".

"The difficulty to buy material slowed down the experiments", the Minister of Science, Pedro Duque, has lamented this morning in Congress, for whom the royal decree law supposes "lifting the chains" in the laboratories. The new package of measures also includes the streamlining of indefinite hiring, to avoid the chain of fraudulent temporary contracts that has dominated the research centers for years, with highly qualified scientists hired precariously to cover permanent needs.

COSCE considers that this royal decree law "will resolve in its application some of the pressing problems of the system, although it does not address them with sufficient effectiveness". According the analysis of its president, the chemist Nazario Martín, the package "will not cure all the ills of the Spanish system of science, technology and innovation, since for this it is necessary to develop once and for all scientific policies, which are not only the responsibility of the necessary Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, but of all the Government ".

The popular deputy Víctor Píriz has ensured that the plan of shock is "an ode to plagiarism" of the measures proposed by the PP

The scientific community claims, for example, that the State Research Agency presents each year with punctuality the national plans, whose financing lives most of the research groups in Spain. The current delays of months "sink" to small laboratories, according to has denounced in this newspaper the biochemist Luis Serrano, president of the Somma alliance of excellence research centers. For the Minister of Science, "this royal decree law is not the solution to all problems, but a substantial first step".

The deputy Rodrigo Gómez García, Citizens, this morning has effected the Executive of Pedro Sanchez the presentation of the royal decree law "in the time of discount, bad and late, on the horn", five days of the dissolution of the Cortes. Minister Pedro Duque announced in November in an interview with EL PAÍS that his shock plan would be ready before the end of 2018.

For the deputy Javier Sánchez Serna, of Unidos Podemos, it is a "conjunctural reform", but "the structural reform that our country needs remains pending". The popular deputy Víctor Píriz, for his part, has assured that the Royal Decree Law of the Ministry of Science is "an ode to plagiarism" of the measures proposed by the PP, although the plan what it does is to knock down some of the decisions taken precisely by the Government of Mariano Rajoy.

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